Internet Safety for Kids
Children face many threats in the online world. So what are the best ways to control what a child is exposed to, or what he or she sees and does on the Internet? Below are some ways you can protect your children and make sure their Internet activities are safe, beneficial and character-building.
Monitor ActivityMonitoring a child's activity on a computer is an important step in ensuring his or her safety. This can be done through various methods. For an easy free resource, try using the Windows Live Family App. Check out thisguide for instructions and more.
Other more sophisticated tools include methods such as key logging. Key logging software records every keystroke your child makes and sends a detailed activity log to you, which helps you monitor his or her behavior in the digital world.
Set Limits for TechnologyEven some of the top IT gurus who pioneered devices like the Apple iPhone control how much their kids use technology. Set up screen time limits per day, and place restrictions on how much time your child can spend on any one device, whether it's a TV, computer, tablet or phone.
Locate Computers in Common Area
Another great tip is to put computers where you can see them to make sure that kids are visiting acceptable websites. Some popular spaces include kitchens, dining rooms or other common areas of the house.
Web Filtering and Web Blocking TechnologiesFilters can block out harmful content on the Internet, limiting the chances that kids will be exposed to some of the worst stuff on the web.
Social MediaAnother Internet security concern is social media. There are various ways to control your children's social media activity and some fundamental ways to make sure they don't give away too much personal information online. One major part of this involves limiting social media profile settings on popular sites, such as Facebook. Experts recommend waiting until your children are of age to let them have Facebook profiles. If your children do have profiles, there are ways to make posts less public and hide other information, such as location.
On a personal level, parents must counsel their kids regarding what information to give out and what information to keep to themselves. Another good tip is to learn who your kids talk to on social media to make sure they don't fall in with the wrong crowd.
CyberbullyingThese days, the issue of cyberbullying is a minefield. It's difficult to know what's going on online, how to draw the line and who's bullying who. Parents, administrators and everyone else must take these threats extremely seriously. Studies have revealed that the majority of parents have concerns about cyberbullying, as you'll see in this guide from Internet Safety 101.
One of the best ways to prevent cyberbullying is to know the signs. If one of your children is being cyberbullied, you may notice mood swings, fatigue, inability to concentrate on homework, bad behavior at school and more. Parents need to be aware of how their kids are doing in general, and ask questions if they see warning indicators.
Attachments and E-mailIt's also important to teach kids to avoid viruses and malware when they click on information online. This includes big banner ads and other attractive items on the net that lead to spam, scams and viruses. There's also the issue of when to open the e-mail and when to leave an email alone if it looks auto-generated. Kids will have a tough time with the idea that even if the e-mail says it comes from someone they know, it could still be a harmful piece of spam. Educate your kids and make them aware of the dangers on the Internet. Stay involved in their lives and make sure they don't stray too far into the dark side of technology.
For more tips and in depth information, check out thisinternet safety guide.
Guest post by Parker Hansen